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Friday, December 3, 2021
HomeNewsHow Budget Bill Went From Committee To Table, Next To The Pizza

How Budget Bill Went From Committee To Table, Next To The Pizza

budget bill

House Republicans have postponed their plans to take up a revised budget bill proposal Tuesday evening for a number of reasons, all by design. House leaders struggled to round up conservative votes, which led to a leadership meeting to consider their next move over pizza.

While the Senate had originally been crafting a bipartisan bill to address the budget impasse, House Republicans surprised Senate negotiators earlier Tuesday when they announced they were pursuing their own framework. With the quickness, Speaker John Boehner’s office announced late Tuesday afternoon that the House would vote by the end of the night. The reason is simple, but three-fold.

First, last minute Senate deals have been disastrous for the Republicans, and conservatives have hardened on their position that this new budget bill should come from the House, which is how the Constitution dictates it to be for this very reason. Second, a decision was made by the conservative group Heritage Action to come out against the budget bill. The group was already disappointed with the terms of the Senate deal, but the decision put pressure on House Republicans to oppose the plan and the bill was tabled.

Then, the meeting of the House Rules Committee, which prepares bills for the floor, was postponed — which made clear that House leaders were lacking the necessary votes.

Heritage Action argued that the House plan would “do nothing” to stall “massive new entitlements” in ObamaCare.

The revised House plan was aimed at both ending the partial government shutdown and raising the debt ceiling, but also imposing one ObamaCare-related provision.

Over the last few weeks, Republicans had settled on in the provision that would force Congress, the president, and many other administration officials and staff to participate in the ObamaCare exchanges without crony subsidies. GOP lawmakers argued the proposed reform was a matter of “fairness.”

“If the president and Senate Democrats are going to force the American people to live under ObamaCare, then they and all Washington leaders should not be shielded from the law,” one GOP aide said.

The GOP strategized to pass the bill in the House and then dare the Senate to hypocritically reject the bill — and risk missing the debt-ceiling deadline — because Democrats do not want be subject to ObamaCare the same as other Americans.

While Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other Democrats blasted Speaker Boehner for pursuing a House plan, as the Constitution states to be the lawful course for any budget bill, sources indicated the Senate was willing to wait on the House, because a measure coming from the House could not be filibustered and it would simply save time.

The latest plan to exit from the House will end the partial government shutdown by funding the government through Dec. 15. It would also raise the debt ceiling through Feb. 7, averting the Thursday deadline to raise the debt cap.

However, unlike the prior House proposals, the latest will not include a provision delaying the medical device tax in ObamaCare. It will include a provision limiting the Treasury Department’s ability to buy more time when faced with future debt-ceiling deadlines.

The plan, unfortunately, would kick other budget decisions, including the debate on the medical device tax, to a conference committee.

Republicans earlier claimed the details of their plan were not so far off from a bipartisan approach being crafted in the Senate. Republicans urged Democrats to give it a chance, and questioned why they would preemptively reject it.

“To say, ‘absolutely categorically not, we will not consider what the Republicans in the House of Representatives are doing,’ in my view, is piling on,” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said on the Senate floor, as Democrats lined up against the House plan. “Let’s sit down and work this out.”

Last, but certainly not least, the mood in Washington, which shifted dramatically over the last day, played a huge role in both Heritage Actions’ decision, as well as House Republicans’ quick withdrawal.

White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage called the House approach a “partisan attempt to appease a small group of Tea Party Republicans who forced the government shutdown in the first place.”

One of the most visceral comments came when Reid alleged Boehner was trying to “preserve his role at the expense of the country,” proclaiming that Boehner’s plan will not pass the Senate.

“Extremist Republicans in the House of Representatives are attempting to torpedo the Senate’s bipartisan progress with a bill that can’t pass the Senate … and won’t pass the Senate,” he said.

Sen. Barbara Boxer D-CA, equated Republicans to abusive partners, and stated, “When you start acting like you’re committing domestic abuse, you’ve got a problem. I love you dear, but, you know, I’m shutting down your entire government. I love you dear, but I’m going to default and you’re going to be weak.”

Then, President Obama met with House Democratic leadership Tuesday afternoon, alone. This gave House Republicans the feeling that strategy was the topic of discussion, with no real intention to reach a deal or compromise. Many lawmakers’ suspicions were confirmed when they received word from Pelosi.

On the Senate side, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, just announced that they have recommenced work on their own plan and could announce a framework in a matter of hours.

The prior framework on the Senate side would raise the debt ceiling through February, and include a spending bill meant to last through Jan. 15. That version would also provide unions an exemption from ObamaCare taxes, but would not include any provision relating to the ObamaCare medical device tax.

If the Democrats do not give some or all on the aforementioned provision, which is a settled-on Republican demand, then the stalemate will continue.

Conservatives are more than a bit unhappy with the Senate version, and have grave concerns that Senate Republicans would go along with an unacceptable deal. According to House conservatives, the American people should be treated the same as the rest of the political elite under ObamaCare, and rightfully point out that the American people more than 2 – 1 oppose raising the debt ceiling without significant cuts.

The House Republicans are disgusted by  GOP senators like Bob Corker of Tennessee, John McCain of Arizona, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who have all suggested the initial push to try and defund ObamaCare as part of the fiscal deal was a bad strategy.

Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp coined these senators the “Senate Surrender Caucus.” “And they wonder why conservatives don’t trust them,” he told FoxNews.com.

Heritage Action for America — which is the political advocacy arm of the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation, which has backed efforts to defund ObamaCare — was also a player on the Senate side.

“To their credit, House Republicans responded to their constituents by pushing to defund this unworkable, unaffordable and unfair law,” said Mike Needham, chief executive for Heritage Action. “Unfortunately, their leverage is being severely undermined by many of their Senate colleagues who do not share their determination.”

Written by
Data Journalism Editor

Rich, the People's Pundit, is the Data Journalism Editor at PPD and Director of the PPD Election Projection Model. He is also the Director of Big Data Poll, and author of "Our Virtuous Republic: The Forgotten Clause in the American Social Contract."

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